The Multi-Attribute Utility Model And Your New Home
If you’re in the position to turn your luxury custom home designs into a reality, then first of all congratulations. We wish you the best of luck as you embark upon this journey.
But luxury custom home designs aren’t about luck. Luxury custom home designs are all about planning. In order to make sure that your custom home is perfect, every step of the process will have to be perfect as well, from the custom home plans, to the custom house builders, to the land they build on.
One way to make sure your designer home plans are perfect is to create a matching analytical plan. One of our favorite methods for disciplining the thinking surrounding luxury home designs is to build a Multi-Attribute Utility, or MAU Model. The steps for creating a MAU model are below:
1. Identify your alternatives.
If you’re choosing between two or three home styles or blueprints, open up some spreadsheet software (or just create a grid in your notebook), and list top to bottom each of the styles you could choose, like so:
2. Pick your criteria
For every decision we make, there are certain criteria that we use to weigh our options. Think about the different features of each possible luxury home design, then list them from left to right in a row above your alternative column. Some popular criteria people consider when building their own home include:
3. Rank Your Alternatives By The Criteria
This sounds more complicated than it is. Our favorite way to do this is simply to pretend each alternative is getting a grade out of 100 in each category. For instance, maybe the Gothic option gets a 100 or an “A” for curb appeal, but it can’t sustain a convection oven or geothermal systems and so gets only a 30% in environment. Do this for each possible choice until your grid is filled in.
4. Weight Your Criteria
Obviously not all criteria will be of equal importance to you. If it’s always been your dream to live in a cute cottage for instance, then you’re probably going to trade size in the name of style. After you fill in your MAU data, go back through and rank your criteria in order of importance, then assign weights to each. We like to do this on a percent system out of 100 again. Take the cottage example. I want to live in a cute cottage at least five times as much as I want to live in a big house, so I might assign the weight I gave to size at .2 and the weight for style at .8.
5. Crunch The Numbers
Once each criteria has a weight, go through and multiply every grade you gave your alternative by the appropriate criteria percent. Sum the results for each alternative, and bam. You’ve got your MAU number.
6 Interpret The Mau Score
In this simple example, the alternative (or luxury home plan) with the highest MAU number will be the one you’ll want to go with. There are many ways to do MAU models though, so we highly encourage that you look them up as they’re extremely useful analytical tools for decision making — in between building your fabulous new abode.